California Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrian accidents in California can be especially hazardous, and victims often suffer from severe injuries due to the high traffic volumes in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. They occur when a person on foot is struck by a vehicle, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. These accidents can happen in various settings, such as crosswalks, sidewalks, parking lots, and residential streets. At ACTS LAW, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these accidents can take on victims and their families. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in California, ACTS LAW is here to assist you. Our pedestrian car accident lawyers understand the unique challenges of these cases and are dedicated to helping you navigate through them.
What to Do in Case of a Pedestrian Accident
If you find yourself in a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to take immediate actions to protect your rights and well-being:
- Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Call 911 or seek medical assistance as soon as possible, even if your injuries seem minor.
- Document the Scene: If possible, gather evidence like photos of the accident scene, vehicle license plates, and contact information of witnesses.
- Report the Incident: Contact the local authorities to file an accident report. This documentation can be crucial for legal purposes.
- Preserve Evidence: Keep any clothing or personal items damaged during the accident as evidence.
- Consult an Attorney: Reach out to our experienced attorneys at ACTS LAW for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
It’s important to note that many pedestrian accidents result from a combination of factors. Understanding these common causes can help both motorists and pedestrians take precautions to reduce the risk of accidents and promote safer roadways. Some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: Motorists using phones or engaging in other distractions may fail to notice pedestrians.
- Speeding: Excessive speed reduces reaction time and increases the severity of accidents.
- Failure to Yield: Drivers may neglect to yield the right of way at crosswalks or intersections.
- Drunk Driving: Impaired drivers are more likely to cause accidents involving pedestrians.
- Poor Weather Conditions: Reduced visibility and slippery surfaces can contribute to accidents.
- Failing to Obey Traffic Signals: Disobeying traffic lights or stop signs can lead to accidents.
Who Can Be Liable
Determining liability in a pedestrian accident involves a thorough investigation to establish who is at fault for the incident. It can be complex and depends on the specific circumstances of each case. It often involves legal expertise, a thorough investigation, and careful analysis of the evidence. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
Liability is typically determined based on the following factors:
- Duty of Care: First, it’s important to establish whether the involved parties had a duty of care. Motorists have a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicles, which includes being aware of pedestrians and following traffic laws. Pedestrians also have a duty to exercise care for their own safety, which includes using crosswalks and obeying traffic signals when applicable.
- Negligence: To establish liability, it must be shown that one party (usually the driver) acted negligently, breaching their duty of care. Negligence can take many forms, including distracted driving, speeding, failing to yield the right of way, or driving under the influence.
- Causation: It must be demonstrated that the negligent actions of one party directly caused or contributed to the pedestrian accident. This involves determining whether the driver’s actions were a substantial factor in the accident.
- Comparative Negligence: In some cases, both the pedestrian and the driver may share some degree of fault for the accident. Many states have comparative negligence laws, which means that each party’s degree of fault is assessed, and any compensation awarded may be reduced accordingly. For example, if a pedestrian was jaywalking, they might be found partially at fault for the accident.
- Evidence: Gathering evidence is crucial in determining liability. This includes witness statements, surveillance footage, accident scene investigations, police reports, and expert testimony. All of this evidence helps establish the sequence of events and who was responsible.
- Traffic Laws: Traffic laws play a significant role in determining liability. Violations of traffic laws by either the pedestrian or the driver can be strong indicators of liability. For example, if a driver runs a red light and strikes a pedestrian lawfully crossing the street, the driver is likely at fault.
- Foreseeability: Liability can also hinge on whether the accident was foreseeable. For instance, if a driver had ample time to see a pedestrian but failed to react appropriately, the driver may be held liable because the accident was foreseeable.
- Vehicle Defects: In some cases, vehicle defects or malfunctions can contribute to accidents. If a vehicle malfunctioned and led to the accident, the vehicle manufacturer or maintenance provider might be liable.
At ACTS LAW, we have a strong track record of representing pedestrian accident victims and their families, holding negligent parties accountable, and helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team of attorneys. We are here to provide you with the legal support and advocacy you need during this challenging time. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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